Noteworthy ballot measures in upcoming election

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

More than 140 ballot measures will be decided by voters in 42 states in the Nov. 4 general election. Among the noteworthy subjects being addressed:



In Colorado, a "personhood" amendment would add fetuses to those protected by the state's criminal and wrongful death act. Opponents say it would ban abortions. In North Dakota, Measure 1 would provide "the inalienable right to life" for humans at "any stage of development." Supporters and opponents differ on what impact it might have on abortion regulations.



In Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, voters will have a chance to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults, a step approved two years by voters in Colorado and Washington state. A measure in Florida would legalize medical marijuana use.



Washington state has two competing gun-related measures on its ballot. One seeks background checks for all gun sales and transfers, including private transactions. The other would prevent any such expansion covering purchases from private sellers.



A measure in Massachusetts would repeal a 2011 law authorizing development of up to three resort casinos. In Colorado, a proposed amendment would establish a K-12 education fund financed by expansion of gambling options at horse racetracks.



A Massachusetts measure would set a statewide policy for employees to earn and use sick time under certain conditions.



In Arkansas, where 37 counties prohibit alcohol sales, Issue 4 would legalize alcohol sales statewide.



Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota have proposals on their ballots to raise the state's minimum wage. At the low end, Arkansas would raise its minimum from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour by 2017. At the high end, Alaska would raise its minimum from $7.75 to $9.75 by 2016.



In Washington state, Initiative 1351 would reduce class size and increase staffing support in grades K-12. A measure in Missouri would tie teachers' jobs and salaries to the performance of their students.



Colorado and Oregon each have measures that would require labeling of certain genetically modified foods.



An Oregon measure would enable residents to obtain "driver cards" without having to prove that they are in the United States legally.



A measure in California would make it the first state requiring many doctors to submit to random drug and alcohol tests. Another California measure would require the state insurance commissioner's approval before health insurance rates could be changed.